Your sleep plays such an important role in your ability to lose weight and burn fat. This is the time when your body repairs itself and all that hard work you put in at the gym starts taking shape on your body.
Not only does sleep help your body recover, it also plays and important role in your immune system, hormone function, day to day performance and overall health and wellbeing.
Getting into bed at 10pm isn't a hard feat. It’s the falling asleep part which could sometimes be an issue. If you struggle with sleep, here are some of my top tips to help you sleep better.
1. Allow yourself time to unwind
It’s important before you go to bed, to give yourself time to unwind from the day and relax. This will help you fall into a deeper, more regenerative sleep a lot quicker. Things like gentle stretching, reading a book, playing relaxing music or taking a bubble bath, are all great ways to let yourself unwind from a busy day and start to get sleepy for bed. It can be helpful to create a bedtime ritual that will signal to the body it’s now time to sleep. Also it's best to try and keep your sleep at a consistent time each night, to help regulate your body clock (hence the 10pm curfew).
2. Make sure your sleeping space is clear from mess
Make sure that your sleeping environment is a peaceful space that will allow you to rest and relax and that your bedroom is designed to allow your body to sleep. Have black out curtains, a comfy bed, good pillows and not too much clutter or mess.
Another important point is to make sure you aren’t bringing any work into your sleep sanctuary. To help train your brain that the bedroom is for relaxing and sleeping, it’s important to keep your work out of it. Taking work into the bedroom like reading, replying to e-mails or even being on social media, can be extremely detrimental to a good night's rest.
3. Don’t have caffeine after midday
If you don’t sleep very well or find it hard to drift off to sleep but drink quite a bit of coffee during the day then it might be time to rethink your caffeine intake. Whilst caffeine in small doses can be okay for the body, excessive amounts can definitely make it hard to drift off to sleep, as well as effect the quality of sleep you get throughout the night. Most experts say don’t drink anything with caffeine in it after 2 pm, however we go for the midday rule. If you are a coffee person, then just stick to drinking it in the morning before lunch.
4. Pay attention to what you eat and drink
Don't go to bed either hungry or stuffed. Your discomfort might keep you up. Also limit how much you drink before bed, to prevent disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet.
5. Stop looking at screens a couple of hours before bed
Just as it’s important to unwind before bed, you also need to remove yourself from screens a couple of hours before laying down. By screens we mean, T.V, computer and even your phone. That’s because the backlight on your electronics can prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.
Studies have shown that the blue light restricts melatonin production, which is the chemical your body produces to give you a deep and quality sleep. Try to switch off your electronics and move away from the computer screen at least a few hours before bed. It can be hard, we know, but your body will thank you for it.
6. Limit daytime naps
Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep — especially if you're struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality at night. If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the mid afternoon.
If you work nights, you'll need to make an exception to the rules about daytime sleeping. In this case, keep your window coverings closed so that sunlight — which adjusts your internal clock — doesn't interrupt your daytime sleep.
7. Include physical activity in your daily routine
Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. Timing is important, though. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energised to fall asleep. If this seems to be an issue for you, exercise earlier in the day.
We hope some of these tips helped. Do you have any favourite sleep remedies? If so, comment below.